Pneumonia is a quite common health condition. More than one million Americans end up in the hospital due to it. A staggering number, 50,000 deaths are due to this illness. What’s even more shocking is that 85% of those with fatal consequences are older adults. Unfortunately for the older population, they are the age group most subject to developing pneumonia. They are also the ones with least chance of surviving. But there are ways you can avoid pneumonia which can save your life. Here we are going to talk about them.
Know the Symptoms
Pneumonia is commonly known as an infection of the lungs. It can be caused by three things: bacteria, fungus, or virus. Because of this, pneumonia is considered to be a diverse condition. That is also what makes its symptoms vary from person to person. The most common signs of pneumonia include fever, chills, difficulty breathing, stabbing pain when coughing, headache, and clammy skin.
Most people connect pneumonia to symptoms such as coughing and fever. But you can develop this illness even without these signs, which sometimes makes it hard to detect. Of course, respiratory issues are expected for those with pneumonia, but that’s not always the case. The signs that also follow this disease are weakness, dizziness, delirium, and confusion, so you should look for these.
Because of the facts laid out above, patients who have Alzheimer’s have trouble detecting pneumonia symptoms. If your loved one has Alzheimer’s or any other form of dementia, you will need to monitor their health more carefully. This is the only way to detect pneumonia in time and avoid fatal consequences.
Tips for Basic Prevention
Other types of respiratory infections such as cold, flu, and bronchitis can lead to pneumonia. If you have any of these conditions, you have a higher chance of developing this lung illness. So in concurrence with this, the best way to avoid pneumonia is to lead a healthy life—which you usually do when you want to prevent any of these conditions.
If you don’t take care of your well-being, the chances are higher to develop this disease. Poor health is the fastest way to weaken your lungs further. What you need to do is to adopt a healthy diet, get enough sleep and rest, and stay mobile and active. Another part of your body that you need to nurture is the mouth. Bad dental hygiene can lead to pneumonia through gum infection.
Also, if someone close to you has a respiratory infection, the best thing to do would be to avoid them. For the elderly who live in retirement homes, this might be difficult, but they should do their best. Being exposed to others who have pneumonia increases the risk of developing it yourself.
Getting Annual Vaccinations
If you want to give yourself the best chance to stay clear of respiratory infections, go and get vaccinated. If you have 65 years or more, getting a vaccine annually is recommended. You should also get one for the flu. Both of these vaccinations can be received on the same day. Be aware that getting vaccinated doesn’t guarantee that you won’t develop pneumonia. What it does is lower the risk of developing it. It will also prevent any complications if you develop respiratory infections, and it will reduce the seriousness of your symptoms.
Staying Healthy in Old Age
The youngsters get over the flu or cold in a week or two with only bed rest. But with age, these conditions can set us back way more because of a weaker immune system. With age, people get more vulnerable and are at risk of respiratory infections. So take care of your health on a daily basis and get vaccines when you need to. This way you will avoid this infection.
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